Today at Reviewing Shelf, we have Sherry Gloag, author of From Now Until Forever and His Chosen Bride. She tells us about how she came to writing these two books. Let’s hear it from her.
Thank you for having me here today and asking me to talk about how I overcome ‘writer’s cramp/block and how I came to write these From Now Until Forever and His Chosen Bride.
Some writers plot every last detail of their books before they start ‘writing’. ‘Writing’ as in the ‘narrative proper’. They may during this time write several thousands of words, but don’t count these as part of their narrative. I am not one of them.
Many of my ‘plots’, which amount to nothing more than nebulous thoughts, names and misty ideas floating through my mind when I am doing something – very often – quite unrelated to writing. I may get a name or two, I may get a scene in my head, and at that point there’s no point in rushing to the key board, because nothing would happen. I have to let it gestate. I have to wait – sometimes far longer than I like.
From Now Until Forever was different in almost every way imaginable. It started out with a ‘why not join the band-wagon’? The particular band wagon in mind was the royal wedding between Kate Middleton and the British royal prince, William. As usual the idea did not turn up until after the event, so where did that leave me? Who would read a fictional story about a royal wedding when all the hype was over and shelved in readiness for the Queen’s upcoming Jubilee celebrations?
Well the idea wouldn’t go away, so I sat down and began writing. Did it turn into a novella? No, it was never intended to be anything other than a short story. But fate took a hand. I belong to a wonderful critique group, who when they read it offered various suggestions, and all wanted more.
At the same time a friend pointed me in the direction of a publisher looking for 5k stories for an anthology. I worked on it, and time now being short I asked my friend Kay to give it the once-over.
“If they don’t accept it, I want it,” she told me, when she sent it back.
To cut a long story short. It was rejected. I told Kay.
“Not long enough,” she said. “Go away and add at least another ten k words.” And included a list of suggestions on how to expand From Now Until Forever. Astraea Press accepted it after I completed a 21k novella.
What I didn’t know then – remember I am not a plotter— is that a few weeks after From Now Until Forever was published, Liam’s brother Henri turned up wanting his story told, and from there His Chosen Bride was born. Not only was this second story born, but two more royal brothers, twins, decided to muscle in on the act and I am in the process of writing their stories now.
Since they are walking in and out of each others’ novellas my writing life is getting a bit tricky. But, I thought I had it all in hand until last week, when I wrote a piece for an online weekly blog prompt, and in walked another hero who is trying to muscle into the twins’ tales and demanding one of his own. Tricky has just become complex and bewildering. 🙂
So what do I do when this happens, when, sometimes I feel overwhelmed and bogged in by stories that take turnings I never anticipated, with characters who tell me how to write their story and refuse to co-operate if I try to force the scene or the pace.
Well sulking won’t cut it, so I usually open a fresh page, deliberately title it ‘Free Writing’ and simply start hitting the keyboard.
In From Now Until Forever there is a restaurant scene that turned up quite spontaneously and seemed to know just where in the greater scheme of the story it fitted. Likewise in His Chosen Bride I needed to up the emotional ante between the hero and heroine and yet keep the story within the ‘sweet’ remit of Astraea Press. I was stuck and discarded several attempts into my ‘dumped’ folder. Then I sat down and title the page ‘Free Writing’ and the scene unfolded with ease, and actually, on my part, a lot of laughter because I thought my characters were flirting with the editor’s red pen.
Fortunately my editor laughed almost as much as I did, and let it through.
Writing without plotting may seem irrational to many, but for me writing ‘by the seat of my pants’ is the way that works for me. Of course it has its drawbacks, but then I’ve often heard ‘plotters’ bemoan that they have backed themselves into a corner, so it becomes a case of ‘what works best’ for any given writer.
I had great fun writing From Now Until Forever. Melanie, the heroine was like none other I’d met before and her ideas blew me away. Liam on the other hand thought he knew it all and suddenly discovers he didn’t know very much at all. While Monica, in His Chosen Bride, is a totally different kind of woman, her kind of strength equals Melanie’s. I enjoyed exploring Monica, watching her grow and stand her ground against Henri’s bewilderment when he finds himself way beyond his personal comfort zone.
I’d hoped to have at least one of the twins’ stories, Royal Intentions and The Playboy Prince, well on the way to completion by now, but those terrible twins are playing games with me. Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long for the next two books in The Gasquet Princes series.
For Prince Liam, families meant bad news, unwanted commitments, and the loss of his personal freedom. Love spawned white picket fences, slippers at the hearth with a wife and kids making demands, so why did those images disappear when he met Melanie Babcot?
Melanie Babcot fought hard to escape the horrors of her youth and vowed to remain single and free, so when paid to protect Prince Liam from insurgents why did her personal pledge fly out the window?
Prince Henri Gasquet is happy to let his father, the king, choose his bride for him until he meets Monica Latimer.
Monica Latimer is not prepared to risk letting any man close enough to learn about her Gift. A gift that normally has men running for the hills when they find out about it.
Buy it here – Astea Press
Multi-published author, Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England. She considers the surrounding countryside as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs “thinking time” and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel. While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.
Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully admits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office. She also finds crystal craft work therapeutic.
Sherry will giving away the following prizes:
* One randomly drawn commenter at every stop will win a hand-crafted book thong.
* One randomly drawn commenter during the tour will win a hand-crafted selenite pendant.
* The host with the most comments (excluding Sherry’s and the host’s) will win a hand-crafted selenite pendant.
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/05/virtual-book-tour-gasquet-princes.html